How to Make Crispy Kale Chips
Crispy kale chips are the perfect healthy snack and easily satisfy any salty or savory craving. They’re light, crispy, nutrient-dense and very easy to make.
We’re deep in the crevasse of holiday sweets season. Are you feeling it? I sure am. And it’s likely because I tumbled into that crevasse (read: massive pumpkin pie over-indulgence) that I started craving kale chips this week. Yep, salty, crispy kale chips. Have you ever had them?
Like potato chips, kale chips can be made plain or tossed and topped with a variety of seasonings. I’m a pretty simplistic sea salt kale chip kinda girl, but I’ll give you a few fun flavor variations below.
The key to kale chips is not burning them. Because burned kale chips (even slightly burned) taste, well, horrible. Like crispy, paper thin charcoal briquettes. And needless to say, that’s not a flavor profile I aspire to have in my kitchen. On the other end of that spectrum, soggy or limp kale chips aren’t very fab either. You want them just right…and trust me, it’s really not as complicated as it sounds (which you’ll see in the video below). Though it may take a few tries to figure out the perfect cook time with your particular oven.
Watch the video and learn how to make kale chips:
So let’s talk about how to not make them soggy or limp, which all has to do with moisture. First, after you wash the kale make sure that it’s 100% dry. You can use a salad spinner if your kale is already chopped, or you could blot the kale dry with a paper towel if it’s still full stems. Second, use a minimal amount of oil. You really only need about 1-2 teaspoons (not tablespoon) of olive oil per bunch of kale chips. If you drench the kale in too much olive oil, it won’t crisp up.
As for making sure the kale chips don’t burn, I prefer to cook them at a lower temperature, even if it takes a few minutes more. So I cook them at 300 degrees fahrenheit rather than 350 degrees. In my current oven that takes about 8-10 minutes, but it may take a few minutes more in your oven (as it used to take 15 minutes in my previous oven). The key is just keeping an eye on them and rotating the pan halfway through. The cooking times may also vary if you’re using Tuscan kale rather than curly kale – though either works just fine. So I’d say check them at 8 minutes and maybe every minute or two thereafter until they’re done.
Kale chips are very thin, delicate, crispy chips. If you’ve ever had seaweed chips, they’re sort of the same in density, with the feeling that you’re chomping on salty air. There’s not much too them. But the good news is that they’re nutrient-dense and satisfy all your salty and savoring cravings with very little calories. Here’s a few flavor variations for you.
Kale Chips Seasonings and Flavors
For all dry seasonings, you can add any that you choose before cooking the kale chips. For liquid seasonings, I recommend a light spritzing after they’ve baked (keeping in mind that they’re quite fragile).
Dry seasonings: sea salt, truffle salt, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, parmesan, nutritional yeast (for a dairy-free cheesy flavor), onion powder and ground mustard.
Liquid seasonings: vinegar, truffle oil and tamari (or coconut aminos).
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit.
- Wash and thoroughly dry the kale. Remove the kale leaves from the stems and then tear into pieces. Place the torn kale into a mixing bowl.
- Add the olive oil and sea salt to the mixing bowl and gently massage the kale until all pieces are lightly coated in oil.
- Lay the kale in one single layer on a sheet pan and cook for 8 minutes, then rotate the pan. Cook for an additional 2-6 minutes, checking every minute or two to ensure it's not burning.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven, let cool for 3-5 minutes, then enjoy.
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